DES MOINES, Iowa — Officials say one elderly female was killed in a house fire in Des Moines early Sunday morning.
According to a press release from the City of Des Moines, firefighters were called to 2711 South Union Street on reports of a house fire. Reports stated one person was still inside the home.
Fire crews saw only light smoke when they first arrived and found two occupants waiting outside. Firefighters then searched the main floor after the occupants indicated the homeowner was still inside the house near a bedroom on the first floor.
Officials say 88-year-old Deloise M. Veith was removed from the house but pronounced dead at the scene.
Firefighters faced heavy smoke and fire on multiple levels of the 1 1/2 story wood frame house before extinguishing the flames.
Investigators interviewed the occupants who escaped safely, and their statement aligned with evidence that the fire originated near an electrical outlet in the basement and started because of an overloaded circuit.
Numerous animals were also killed in the fire including cats, birds, and a hedgehog. The home and its contents are considered a total loss.
The Des Moines Fire Department reminds families to discuss and conduct fire safety drills so everyone is aware of a home evacuation plan in the event of a fire. Working smoke alarms are also critical, particularly in every bedroom and one on each level of the house.